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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Caterpillar Expects New Rival To Emerge From China

Caterpillar Expects New Rival To Emerge From China - WSJ

I would not be surprised if Caterpillar's name in China has a big target next to it.  The other US company I would worry about is Boeing (China has been working to improve their aerospace industry with forced joint manufacturing (technology transferes) and subsidies.  Europe grew Airbus using only subsidies.

China has already done similar work on building home grown competitors in networking (Habei), Automotive (forced joint manufacturing with technology transfer), and bullet trains (Japanese Manufacturers).


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scam Targeting High School Graduates

My daughter got a letter last night from Vector Marketing presenting an opportunity for a $16 an hour job.

I did a bit of googling, and it is a scam.

With the high teen unemployment rate, I don't think a lot of companies that target teens for direct sales jobs, where you need to buy the demo kit first ($200).


Vector Marketing Scam - Spam Laws

Cutco Cutlery - It's a Scam, but the Knives Are Fantastic


Youku, China's No. 1 video site, signs deal with Warner Bros.

I am surprised at the deal. 

Some Guesses:

May be the thought by the government is there is so much online piracy in China anyway, that there is no cost to give permission for the streaming of western movies legally in China? 

Or is this prevention from allowing the streaming by Western Firms directly over the Internet, such as NetFlix? 

Or something else?

Youku, China's No. 1 video site, signs deal with Warner Bros. - LA Times


China firms face research armies

Short sellers are making money by researching Chinese firms listed in HK and the US for accounting issues, and then shorting them after releasing the results of their research.  A comment in the story compared it to shooting fish in a barrel.


Behind the WSJ pay roll :-(


Monday, June 27, 2011

China wrestles with food safety problems

Sad article.  The root cause seems to be corruption, lack of an FDA type agency, and punitive secrecy (speak up and end up in jail).

China wrestles with food safety problems - LA Times

Good article.  I did not realize the China does not have an equivalent to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).  Authority in China involves several different agencies (only 2 in the US, Department of Agriculture and FDA).

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Prada Made in China?

Per the Wall Street Journal, 20% of Prada's products are made in China.  The reasoning is China has excellent manufacturing, especially in shoes.

Prada also has manufacturing in Vietnam, Turkey, and Romania.

The question is if buyers become aware of many Prada products are made outside of Italy, will they still pay a premium for the Prada name?

Prada Is Making Fashion in China - WSJ


China's Conflict Handbags

I am surprised at the amount of high end, luxury brand name bags that are being made in China, in pretty bad conditions, by a Korean owned company.  The potential for bad publicity I would have thought would have made the brands super careful. I would hope that nobody would want to be like Nike, and get mentioned in Doonesbury.

Michael Kors, DKNY, Burberry, Kate Spade, and and Coach are supposed made at one factory with the bad working conditions!

Great article to read on why the labor unrest in China is happening.

China's Conflict HandBags - Forbes


Friday, June 24, 2011

High School Rankings

The rankings for California Schools are pretty different for these two surveys.


Best High Schools - Washington Post

Best High School Newsweek Rankings


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Million Book e-Seller

Interesting that Mr. Locke is now looking into doing a regular book deal.  The reason is the higher profit per book.  He has sold a Million books at 99 cents each, but his profit per book has been 35 cents. The current model for book publishing is the majority of the money is made from hard cover sales for the author.

Independent author John Locke joins Amazon's million-Kindle-seller club, but at what cost? - LA Times


Monday, June 20, 2011

Foxconn staffer jailed for iPad IP theft

This is significant, but I am not sure why this happened.  And it was reported in the Chinese press!

Lots of guesses...  I should do a poll :-)

Some guesses, but I have no idea truthfully.

1. FoxConn has major Guanxi (pull)
2. Great way to show China is now serious on IP (intellectual property)
3. Payback to Apple for opening stores in China, or something?

Foxconn staffer jailed for iPad IP theft - The Register


Translated Chinese Internet Content

Interesting site to browse through.


Warning - there is a sickening translated article about eating dogs in China.  I made the mistake of clicking through to it.  I should not have.


Chinese food: Can Chinatown be saved by authentic food?

Good article...

Chinese food: Can Chinatown be saved by authentic food? - The Economist

It seems there are more real Chinese food in the London Chinatown.

Living in Rowland Heights, I am spoiled by all the real Chinese food available here. Sometimes too real :-)


Taiwan Food Scare

China, South Korea, Philiphines, and Hong Kong banned the importation of certain food and drinks form Taiwan.

Plasticizers were added to soft drinks and fruit juices.  This may have been going on for decades.  Plasticizers carcogenic and are supposed to be used to soften plastic, not as a food additive (to make drinks a certain color, with a cloudier agent). 

My understanding is a 25 year prison sentence has been requested for the company owner.  Its been a real black eye for both the current Taiwan government (slow in handling the crisis), as well as Taiwan's reputation for food safety.


INTERVIEW: Expert pushes for better food safety regulation - Taipei Times

A Darkness Falls on Taiwan's Night Markets - WSJ

Food scandals in Taiwan: Plastic unfantastic - The Economist

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Corruption in China

Interesting quote I just heard from a person who started a business that needed local as well as central approvals.  The higher you go, the more the corruption.  The person explained this was how many higher level officials could afford a bunch of fancy cars, and such.


Book vs. e-Book

Nice opinion article...

Kindle vs. books: The dead trees society - LA Times

Kindles are convenient, but they just aren't as good as books.

I personally enjoy the heft of a book. 


Short Sales in Rowland Heights

The house next to us got forclosed, and is now for sale.  And for some reason there are 5 houses within 2 blocks of us for sale.

We got a flyer for a Short Sale at our house.  Flyer was in English, which was dumb.  The majority of our neighborhood is ethnic Chinese, some Koreans, and a mixture of others.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Brooklyn Chinatown

Making Census Of It: As Brooklyn's Chinese-American Population Grows, Some Call For More Services - NY 1

Per the article Chinatown is expanding into the traditional Italian area of Brooklyn.

Where the LA Chinatown is currently, also used to be an Italian area.

Alhambra used to have an Italian area, but is now a suburban Chinatown. My favorite Ice Cream place is there - Fossilman's, a remnant of a bygone era.


Beijing to Shanghai in 5 Hours?

China seems to be focusing on making sure that no accidents happen with the train, especially after the construction scandals.

Beijing to Shanghai in Five Hours? New Data on China's High-Speed Rail - The Atlantic

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Chinese manufacturers: The end of cheap goods?

I have mixed feelings on this article.

Yes, China is no longer the endless supply of cheap labor it was.  But, in the electronics/computer area, there has been a continual decrease in prices with changes in technology.  And productivity has been improving, that has resulted in lower manufacturing costs.  Labor cost is often a small part of the total cost of an item.

Chinese manufacturers: The end of cheap goods? - The Economist


Service Dog in School?

I have mixed feelings on this.

Autistic boy: School must let autistic boy may take service dog to class, judge rules - La Times

An autistic boy can take his Golden Retriever to school.  The dog helps calm him down. The parents had to sue to get permission for the dog to go with him to school.

I subbed a few Special Ed. classes and I understand the worry of the school on liability, as well as being practical.  Some students may be very afraid of dogs. And what if the dog bit somebody? 

Yes, Golden Retrievers are incredibly patient, and usually well behaved (except for slight chewing of a red pair of shoes, mustard yellow pair of shoes, two pairs of sandals, a piano book, and a few other items at my house).  I may be a bit biased since I have a Golden Retriever, my third one, and yes, he likes to chew.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

77 Year Old College Grad

I have a number of older customers who are learning Chinese.  This story of a lady who graduated college at 77 years, shows me your only as old as you feel.
At 77, she's now a Cal Poly grad - SG Tribune

And yes, I do have a soft spot for Cal Poly, Pomona.  I got my Engineering degree there! 


Daily Deals in Chinatown

It seems in SF Chinatown there is a Ghost Tour that has been doing a lot of Daily Deals.

Daily Deals Rescue Local-Ad Market - WSJ

A previous blog post on the Ghost Tours in SF.

What I have noticed is for some reason, Los Angeles does not seem to have any good Ghost Tours?  There is one Fullerton near Halloween, but besides that, not much.  San Diego has one. 

Is this because LA is too new?

Or that nobody walks in LA?


Da Vinci Exhibit

I went to the Da Vinci exhibit in Hollywood on Sunday and it was great!  I had checked out the reviews first, which were very positive.

Lots of hands on exhibits showing the machines Leonardo Da Vinci along with the pictures he painted.  The exhibit reminded me of the Exploratorium in San Franscisco.

I found it a bit sad the lack of people at the exhibit.  My guess was a bad location (mall at Hollywood and Highland).  Good news was you can validate your parking at the Kelly's Coffee.

Tickets were only $7 (63% off) with a deal from Buy With Me.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Registration is Open for SAT 2 Chinese Listening on November 2011

The testing day is on November 5, 2011. Deadline of submission for US examinees is on October 7, 2011. Late registration is until October 21, 2011 but fees apply.


1. Register Online
- select your testing date and  register. You will receive immediate registration afterwards.

2. Register by Mail
- for special cases some students need to register by mail and see if you fall on this category

3. Standby Registration
- If you were unable to register on time, you can still go to the testing center to standby and hope that there is a space  available for you inside the testing center. For more information refer to http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/how-to-register

4.  Home schooled Student Registration
- Home-schooled students can register online or by mail for the SAT. When prompted for their high school code, they should enter 970000.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

China to get new skyscraper every five days for three years

'Red song' campaign in China strikes some false notes

What I find more interesting is:

Political Jockeying - Mao is being used to help candidates for high political office as well as hitting the nationalism response.

Abilty to use masses of people for activities (volunteer, with no choice not to volunteer)

Subtle ways attempted to control society (temp. banning of Taiwan love songs in Karoke places as an example).

'Red song' campaign in China strikes some false notes - LA Times

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Youths' media appetite: Greater use of iPods, gadgets found among non-whites

After reading this and comparing it to my daughter's media usage who is mixed, she is more on the Asian side for the statistics :-)  Of course we have terrible TV reception, and we don't have cable.

Fascinating report.

Asian youth spend more time in recreational computer use: Nearly 3 hours a day compared to 1:49 for Hispanics, nearly 1.24 for blacks and 1:17 for whites.

Youths' media appetite: Greater use of iPods, gadgets found among non-whites - Mercury News


RSA Hack - Stealing from the Lock Smith

RSA is a security firm that provides a SecurID product used by 40 users.  Basically they provide a token that is carried and provides a code that changes every 30-60 seconds that is also entered for a login.  This way without the token logins should be secure.  The problem is the seed and the algorithm for the tokens was stolen from RSA in a hack.  This was used in the hack of Lockheed Martin.

It seems that RSA had poor security on their own network.  I guess the idea of the cobblers children having no shoes.

The RSA Hack: How They Did It - NY Times
RSA finally comes clean: SecurID is compromised - Ars Tecnnica

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Chinese New Year Puns

Chinese New Year is a time for Puns.  The Economist has a nice article full of puns for Chinese New Year

Punnest weekend ever - The Economist


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dragon Boat Festival

Was Monday.  So on Sunday we bought a bunch of the rice in banana leaves (zongzi).  In China it' s a public holiday.

Dragon Boat Festival Event Calendar and Information which has Coloring Pages, racing schedules, and worksheets.


Chinatown Bus Crashes

A Chinatown bus was recently involved in the death of 4 people.  I am sure the number four is a coincidence (4 means death Chinese and is an unlucky number).  This was in Virginia.  The driver was charged with man slaughter. The tour bus operator tried to start operation again under a new name. 

Chinatown Bus Operator Used Aliases to Run After Deadly Crash, Feds Say - DNAinfo.com

Another Chinatown bus in Chicago recently had a crash Casino Bus Crash Injures 20 In Chicago


Chinese Begin Volvo Overhaul

Interesting, the strategy of Geely is to target China's luxury model.  That makes more sense on why Geely bought Volvo.

Chinese Begin Volvo Overhaul  - WSJ


Chinese classes miss point

A Japanese teacher of mine for math told of going to school in Iowa.  He was met at the train station by a couple of other Japanese students, who now had enough people for Majong.  His English did not improve while he was in college :-)

For a long while my wife's English was much better than her friends.  The reason was her American boy friend (me).

Chinese classes miss point - The Australian


Shorter break doesn’t mean more learning

Does a shorter summer break mean more learning in school?

On one side in the US you have the no home work crowd.  A new movie is pushing this view point Race to Nowhere

And on the other side you have the our school year is too short in the US.

A good article that is a good read -  Shorter break doesn’t mean more learning- The Jerusalem Post

My view is a mixture of both.  HW is helpful, but good teaching is also needed.  As well as less time spent on discipline in the classroom.  I would like to know more about why teaching is so effective in Finland.


Monday, June 6, 2011

China seems to have stopped buying US short term bonds recently.  Since October the overall US debt held by China has been decreasing.  Going from a high of $210 Billion to $5.69 Billion in March.
The question is why?

My guess is China expects a devuation of the US dollar to the Yuan.  I would also guess that China does not expect a real deficit cutting deal in the US.

How China owns $1.2TRILLION of American deficit  - Daily Mail


Canadian Postal Workers on Strike

We ship to Canada via the Post Office, so there will be a delay.  Seems to be rolling strikes.  I am sure if your in Canada you know a lot more about this than me :-)

And I agree with this.  What I have noticed with strikes is many customers find other alternatives, and don't come back.

Canada Post fears strike could cause long-term harm - Toronto Sun

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Latest Gmail Hacking Scandal

China's Blue Army was probably involved.

From what I have picked up, if you were a Chinese expert in the DC area, you probably got targeted.  It was a spear fishing type hack, where a person is sent an E-Mail with an attachment that when opened, gave access to their computer to the hacking team.  The WSJ article has a lot of details.

And China is threatening Google for speaking out against the cyber attacks.  The challenge being that Google has moved it servers outside of China, that there is not much that China can do off against Google.

China targeted White House with Gmail hacking - as Hillary Clinton calls threat 'very serious' - Mail Online

Gmail Hack Targeted White House - WSJ.com

China Threatens Google for Speaking Out Against Cyberattacks - Daily Tech

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Confucius Class Update

Residents drop recall against Hacienda la Puente Unified school board members - SG Tribune

It would have cost $500,000 for a special election for the recall, which with the school budget would have cost layoffs.  So the residents stopped the recall action. 

Related Posts:

Confucius Class Continued

Even More Socialism Studies

John Stewart on Confucius Classroom


Burglar Alarms in Rowland Heights

My bank manager mentioned there have been more burglaries in Rowland Heights.  And asked if we had gotten anything back, my answer was no :-(

Last week I pointed out to my parents who were visiting us, the number of houeses alarms on the street I live on in Rowland Heights.  About 70%.  I was amazed how the street I grew up on in Monrovia (above Foothill), there are no burglar alarms on houses.  Such a difference.


Metal Scavenger Trucks

A week ago in Rowland Heights there was a bulky item and e-waste pick up day.  Leave out items such as chairs, computers, monitors, etc. and the trash company would pick them up.

I was cleaning out my garage and getting rid of a bunch of old computers - hard drives already removed for separate data erasing/destruction/disposal.  I also took out a few other items including some old chairs.

I saw 7 trucks full of metal items cruise by my house and the next morning, everything I had left out was gone, except an old torn garbage container the trash company was left to pick up. Four different trucks stopped in front of my house  since I did not take just one load of items out to the curb (remove a hard drive, take computer out, work on next computer, truck drives up and takes computer).


Lunch Trucks in Rowland Heights Chinatown

We went yesterday to the HK Market Plaza at Colima a block from Fullerton.  They had a bunch of lunch trucks with a couple of other stalls.  May it was for Dragon Boat Festival (which is today).


  1. The most popular lunch truck was one that made Octopus Balls.  My wife and daughter had them, and my wife's comment was the ones in Osaka were much better (famous local food).  My daughter's comments was she would not know, since she had to go to school instead of going to Japan...  Kids have long memories.  That was 8 years ago for a business trip :-)
  2. Many of the lunch trucks did not make sense.  Rowland Heights has cheap lunch specials.  And the pricing of the trucks was mostly higher. $6 to $8 sandwiches, in the land of $5.99 Chinese lunch specials is challenging.
  3. The lunch trucks included a fusion American Indian (desert Fry Bread was great), Greek, Hawaiian Ice, Ice Cream, Sushi, Octopus Balls, Korean Mexican, NY Sandwiches, and Philippine.  Truthfully, wrong location for most of them. 


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